Working Paper | HBS Working Paper Series | 2010

Conceptual Foundations of the Balanced Scorecard

by Robert S. Kaplan

Abstract

David Norton and I introduced the Balanced Scorecard in a 1992 Harvard Business Review article (Kaplan & Norton, 1992). The article was based on a multi-company research project to study performance measurement in companies whose intangible assets played a central role in value creation (Nolan Norton Institute, 1991). Norton and I believed that if companies were to improve the management of their intangible assets, they had to integrate the measurement of intangible assets into their management systems. After publication of the 1992 HBR article, several companies quickly adopted the Balanced Scorecard giving us deeper and broader insights into its power and potential. During the next 15 years, as it was adopted by thousands of private, public, and nonprofit enterprises around the world, we extended and broadened the concept into a management tool for describing, communicating and implementing strategy. This paper describes the roots and motivation for the original Balanced Scorecard article as well as the subsequent innovations that connected it to a larger management literature.

Keywords: Asset Management; Balanced Scorecard; Management Systems; Performance Improvement; Strategy;

Citation:

Kaplan, Robert S. "Conceptual Foundations of the Balanced Scorecard." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 10-074, March 2010.